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HomeTechnologyGadgetsThe FBI Has Been Buying Bulk Internet Data from This Weird Florida...

The FBI Has Been Buying Bulk Internet Data from This Weird Florida Company

The FBI’s cybersecurity division has been buying bulk web information from a little-known tech agency primarily based in Florida, Motherboard reports. Team Cymru, which calls itself a “global leader in cyber threat intelligence,” sells entry to bulk net site visitors and claims it will possibly present purchasers entry to a “super majority of all activity on the internet.” It has beforehand been discovered promoting its companies to numerous different federal companies.

Motherboard got here into the small print of the FBI’s contract with the corporate through a Freedom of Information Act request. The 4-page FOIA document is closely redacted and doesn’t given a lot away concerning the broader objective of the bureau’s information acquisition. However, it does present that, in 2017, the federal government paid a complete of $76,450 for the knowledge haul. Just what the bureau’s Cyber Division ended up doing with that information isn’t precisely clear, though Motherboard notes that the info in query is what is called “netflow” information, which, in some circumstances, can allegedly be used to trace cybercriminal exercise. Companies like Cymru usually buy the info from web service suppliers, then resell it to legislation enforcement companies, Motherboard states.

The FBI isn’t the primary federal company to be discovered buying information from Team Cymru. Last September, it was reported that a number of companies inside the U.S. navy had spent thousands and thousands of {dollars} to obtain a robust web monitoring device from the Florida agency, dubbed “Augury.” According to promoting supplies, Augury permits a person entry to bulk web site visitors logs. In some circumstances, the info being supplied may embrace “access to people’s email data, browsing history, and other information such as their sensitive internet cookies,” the outlet reported.

Until lately, Cymru additionally apparently had a relationship with a considerably much less apparent associate: the web’s most well-known privacy browser, Tor.

Indeed, final 12 months, Tor customers started to query why the undertaking appeared to have an infrastructure partnership with the creepy Florida firm. “Why is Tor being hosted on Team Cymru’s network, a data broker known to sell internet backbone data to companies [?],” one discussion board person questioned, in May of 2022. The person posted a screenshot that appeared to point out a DNS lookup of the Tor undertaking that tracked again to Team Cymru. Another person identified that Rabbi Rob Thomas, the CEO of the corporate, gave the impression to be a member of the Tor Project’s board of directors.

In October of 2022, after Cymru’s contract with the U.S. navy was publicly revealed, Tor formally announced it might be halting its partnership with the info dealer. Previously, Cymru had supplied “hardware and other resources” to the privateness community, in accordance with Tor Project govt director Isabela Fernandes. It’s unclear simply how intensive that partnership was—or what, precisely, it was getting used for. Citing “conflicts of interest,” Fernandes introduced that Tor not discovered it “tenable to continue to accept Team Cymru’s donations of infrastructure.”



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